Art Spiegelman's Graphic Novel Maus

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The use of iconic faces in Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus serves many purposes. It relates to the idea that the Nazis did not view the Jews as humans. However, Spiegelman gives the mice human-like qualities in an attempt to counteract the dehumanization of the Jews by the Nazis. Also, much of the novel is about his father’s experiences during World War II, but the death of his mother was an event that affected Art deeply and personally. This accounts for the use of realism during “Prisoner on the Hell planet”. Lastly, the Holocaust affected millions of Jews. The use of mice to represent the characters makes the story more impersonal. By using iconic faces, Spiegelman emphasizes the idea that the Jews were vermin to the Nazi’s but were still humans, and that many people shared similar experiences during World War II, but the most personal experience that Art and Vladek shared was the suicide of Art’s mother, Anja.…show more content…
in Spiegelman,10). The use of animal symbolism throughout the book helps emphasize the point that Hitler viewed the Jews as vermin, who needed to be exterminated. The Jews are depicted as mice throughout the book. On the bottom of page 209, Spiegelman draws his father and the other prisoners eating their meals. In the back, there are corpses of dead prisoners. Each of the prisoners is represented as a mouse. In a way, this erases the idea that these prisoners are human, and is similar to the way Hitler dehumanized the Jews by referring to them as vermin and gassing them with pesticide. However, in the scene, the mice are sitting up against a wall. The live mice are wearing clothing and eating from bowls. Spiegelman uses personification to show that, even though the Nazis viewed the Jews as vermin, they were still
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